Dec 18 14

What Kimpton Hotels going corporate means for the travel industry


Beyond having dedicated many years to travel PR and marketing (let’s leave the number of years out for now), I’m a Kimpton fan. My colleagues at rbb would say I’m a bit obsessed. They may be kind of right.

That’s why the news of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) acquisition of the ultimate boutique hotel brand shocked me at a professional AND personal level. But what does this mean for the travel industry?

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations

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Dec 16 14

Don’t be deaf: Why social media listening is a must for brand strategy


I’m often asked by clients to review their digital media and social marketing programs to uncover opportunities to improve reach, engagement and ROI. I’ve spent the past 17 years answering this question as an Online Marketing Strategist for clients big and small.

Now, I spearhead the digital practice at rbb and the online audit service that we offer, which is specifically designed to discover opportunities for clients based on their online presence. (See video.)

What I’ve consistently found is that most brands don’t really have a truly integrated strategy, and that their social media is more about broadcasting brand messages rather than providing valuable content or truly connecting with the intended audience.

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Posted in: Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media

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Dec 8 14

7 essential steps for preparing your brand to embrace digital


If you’re not online or on social media talking to your customers, your competitors almost certainly are. It wasn’t that long ago that quality plus advertising budget equaled brand loyalty, but as I’ve previously discussed that equation has drastically changed.

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Posted in: Social Media

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Dec 5 14

Timing is everything – The best times to pitch, write and take a break: Straight from the PR trenches


The best times to pitch, write and take a break: Straight from the PR trenches

Working in the public relations field means constantly communicating – whether with existing clients, media, co-workers or potential clients. How can we make that communication most effective? Believe it or not, simply the timing of your approach could be a big driver of the ultimate success or failure of reaching your target. Below are a few tips on choosing the perfect time to make your move.

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Posted in: Media, Public Relations, Writing Tips

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Dec 3 14

4 simple storytelling tips for marketing and PR pros


Everyone loves a good story. But it’s hard to say the same about a well-crafted series of key message points or brand attributes.

Those things are important, but give them context in a good story and then you’ve really got a powerful marketing tool.

That was essentially my point in “Once Upon a Time in Healthcare Marketing,” the piece I wrote recently for South Florida Hospital and Healthcare News about the power of storytelling for audience engagement. While the healthcare industry has particularly good potential when it comes to communicating marketing messages through storytelling, it’s far from the only industry where this holds true.

Read these few excerpts from the article and I’ll bet it will spark some ideas on how to engage your audiences through storytelling, no matter what your professional calling may be.

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Posted in: Marketing

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Dec 2 14

Will Baylor University’s PR firm hire forever change college football?


I love pretty much all sports for the same reasons: An admiration of the strategy, the emotion, the effort, the heart and the display of skill and talent. And, of course, I love the unexpected nature of sports.

However, what I did not expect was that public relations would be part of a college football team’s playbook. Baylor University, one of the top six teams in contention for a playoff berth, recently hired a public relations firm to help advocate for the football program with the national media. Thanks to Baylor, it turns out that publicists may be as strategically important to college football teams as the coaches and players are.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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Nov 24 14

A Big Wheel, the Tesla Model S and smartphones – lessons in marketing obsolescence


Many years ago, a little boy whooped in delight after unwrapping a brand new Big Wheel, a giant plastic three-wheeled ride-on toy. It was the greatest present ever until a few months later when his best friend got a Big Wheel that came with a new feature: a bright blue trunk. Suddenly the old Big Wheel was outdated and the joy of ridership was reduced.

We see this same phenomena today when the next version of a smartphone comes out, making the one you bought just six months ago lose status and appeal. Is it just human nature to always want the new thing, or is planned obsolescence just good marketing?

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Posted in: Marketing

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Nov 24 14

Think outside the Facebook box: 4 ways to improve your content marketing strategy


By now, most marketers have read about Facebook demoting overly promotional content from brand pages. It is being seen as the latest blow to marketers by the world’s largest social network.

In case you missed it, Facebook describes the content being demoted as:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. Facebook is also further limiting organic reach. Reports have shown that Facebook page posts already only reach about 2 percent of current fans (a number that was falling by .5 percent per month in 2014). And interaction with posts is even lower. Facebook’s latest announcement will certainly make these numbers even worse.

As an eternal optimist, I’m looking for the silver lining here. You’ve heard the bad news; now here’s the good news.

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Posted in: Facebook, Social Media

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Nov 19 14

5 ways to improve real-time event coverage on social media


In a world where 140 characters can break a major story at any time during the 24/7 news cycle, PR pros are constantly re-evaluating how to disseminate information and shape narratives.

As the chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Entertainment & Sports section, I have a particular interest in this issue. That’s why we recently hosted a Twitter chat tackling the topic of communications strategies for live events, featuring Gina Lehe, senior director of communications and brand management for the new College Football Playoff.

While the chat centered on sports, the takeaways apply to those in any industry who host any type of live event. (Remember, a press conference, earnings call or ground breaking can qualify, too.)

You can read a full recap of our conversation below, but here are five key points Gina made about real-time communication:

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Posted in: Public Relations, Social Media

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Nov 12 14

3 trends shaping public relations measurement standards


I recently attended the fourth Measurement Summit and Conclave, a meeting of 50 thought leaders, academics, researchers and just plain “measurati”. Organized by the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission, the group convenes annually to help set industry standards and discuss the future of measurement in public relations.

I’ve previously written about how the Barcelona principles guide the standards for measurement metrics, such as mentions, impressions, engagement and awareness. The purpose is to ensure all practitioners speak with one voice.

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Posted in: Public Relations

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